Recreational vehicle (RV) demand is at an all-time high across the nation. Industry sources said manufacturers shipped 543,000 units in 2021, while the previous record high shipments were 504,600 units in 2017.
The North American RV market was valued at $33.95 billion in 2021. The industry is forecasted to reach $59.16 billion by 2027, which is an approximate 9.7% increase, according to a report.
As a record number of RVs is expected on the road this summer, Grand Island’s Rick and Kristen Martin opened Expert RV Service Center last May 1 at 3333 W. Stolley Park Road, Nebraska.
“My husband and I have been campers for years,” Kristen said. “We have owned several different campers over the years and have raised our kids camping.”
Over the last couple of years, she said that many new campers had hit the road.
“We felt like there was a need in the area for an RV service company that offered superior customer service and a very friendly staff,” Kristen said.
She said their staff has years of experience in the field, adding that they were “very fortunate” to have them on board.
With the new facility and experienced staff, Kristen said they could service any make or model camper. They are working on having a range of parts in the store for the DIYers.
As part of the opening expansion of the new facility, she said they are adding a third bay door for repairs.
“We are super excited for our new business,” she said. “We are excited to help serve our friends in the camping community,”
Expert RV Service Center also does warranty work and inspections. The office staff includes Chad Sandoe, general manager, and Kim Garrett, controller, along with Martins.
Courtney Glock, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce vice president, said Expert RV Service Center “is a much-needed service offered to our community.”
“They (Martins) have been told over and over how much RV and camper servicing is needed in this area,” Glock said.
Kristen said they could repair any type of make or model of RV. They do everything from electrical to water systems, repair air conditioning units, and everything else in an RV.
Martin said her family had been avid campers for many years.
“We have raised our kids camping and have purchased several different campers over the years,” she said. “We just really felt like there was a need for a really good service center here in town.”
Kristen said they had been in the planning process almost a year before opening their shop on May 1, adding that they have an amazing staff with long RV experience.
She said Grand Island is an ideal location for an RV service center. Four major highways (281, 30, 34, and 2) are located within the community, and Interstate 80 runs just a few miles to the south.
Not only are baby boomers hitting the road in record numbers, but also are millennials. According to industry sources, millennials have been renting and purchasing more RVs than ever before.
New data from RV rental platform RVshare, showed that 73% of millennials recently indicated they were “likely to take an RV trip in the future.”
Kristen said since opening earlier this month, they have seen a lot of business.
“We have been welcomed into the community,” she said. “Business has been beyond your expectations. Within the first three weeks, we have been so overwhelmed with business we are at the point we’re already looking for help.”
As for the future, Martin wants to continue to focus on service and repairs. They have discussed possibly selling campers in the future. However, their priority is the service and repairs of RVs and campers for the immediate future.
This article originally appeared on The Independent.